Hope for girl, three, paralysed by stroke

Mikka Davies
Mikka Davies

A SOUTH Yorkshire toddler who was left paralysed from the shoulders down after suffering a stroke is to undergo intensive treatment which her family hope will help her walk again.

Mikka Davies is already receiving specialist support and treatment at the neuroscience unit in Sheffield Children’s Hospital and is beginning to move her arms more.

Now the three-year-old from Barnsley is to receive three weeks of intensive therapy at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Buckinghamshire.

And her parents Rachel and Richard Walmsley hope it could help her walk again.

Rachel, 26, said: “We don’t know whether she will be able to walk again, they are just going to do the best they can.

“It’s all about allowing her to have some independence.”

Mikka was a happy and healthy toddler when tragedy struck out of the blue while she was lying on the sofa at home in Worsborough Common.

She suddenly lost the use of her limbs – the warning sign coming when her mum offered her biscuit but she was unable to take it from her.

Rachel said: “She had been crying but I ignored her at first because I thought she just wanted attention. She asked for a biscuit but she just couldn’t take it from me. It was so strange.

“My first thought was, ‘has she had a stroke?’ but then I thought about that TV advert which shows the warning signs of strokes. It talks about one side of the body, but this wasn’t, it was both.”

Mikka was rushed to Barnsley Hospital then transferred to the Children’s Hospital in Sheffield. After four weeks of tests, doctors confirmed she had suffered a spinal stroke but were unable to explain why.

She is now back home but continues to receive specialist treatment in Sheffield.

Although she still has to wear a body harness to help support her because of her paralysis, she has regained some movement in her right arm and left thumb.

Chris Rittey, consultant paediatric neurologist at Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are very pleased with Mikka’s progress because this particular type of spinal stroke is extremely rare in a child of her age.

“Mikka is now receiving intensive therapy from specialists in the neuroscience unit at the hospital and is showing signs of improvement in her arm movements. We will continue to support her using the best therapies and technologies available.”